I rarely watch horror movies; pure fear is not my taste. Besides it’s difficult to get scared if you can predict the next step too often. But I sometimes am afraid of a movie before I see it because I know it will make me feel awkward or uncomfortable or painful.
There are some films on my list marked as ‘should watch this masterpiece’, and they stay unseen for years and get dusted and the verb ‘should’ fades out until I almost forget about the existence of the movie.
One of them, for example, is Dogville by Lars von Trier. I have huge respect for this director after seeing Dancer in the Dark. I was crushed with its emotional power and recommended it to a friend and lent her my copy of the movie. She, an owner of an enormous video collection, was preoccupied to get her own one.
“Don’t hurry,” I told her. “It’s a great movie, but you won’t ever wish to see it again.”
She watched the film, loved it and didn’t buy her own copy. You just don’t want to come through some things more than once.
When Dogville was released I read a short synopsis saying that the main character was enslaved, abused, raped as part of daily routine of normal life. I skipped the movie.
It’s a strange paradox that you can be impressed with someone’s talent but not care about what they have to say to you. I know how powerful the director is, but I don’t want to see his movie just to hear once again ‘people ain’t no good’. Maybe it’s true from some point of view, still, why should I see it illustrated on the big screen and get depressed?
There’s a well spread belief that the art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable, and I agree with this. The art is multitasking and must provoke critical thinking, too. But still, something keeps me from watching a movie like Dogville and probably always will.